My Car Quest

September 2, 2014

Is The “Hagerty Price Guide” For Classic Cars Accurate, Useful Or Worthless?

by Mike –

Recently I wrote about the “Sports Car Market Pocket Price Guide”. Today I discuss the “Hagerty Price Guide” (Hagerty car value) which was originally called the “Cars That Matter Price Guide”.

The “Hagerty Price Guide” is published three times per year, the three issues are: Jan-Apr, May-Aug and Sept-Dec. The latest issue which I am quoting from here is May-Aug 2013 (issue 21).

The Hagerty Guide does not opine on “Investment Grade” and “Appreciation Rating” like the “Sports Car Market Pocket Price Guide” but the Hagerty Guide does provide four value numbers for each model from Condition 1 to Condition 4 where the “Sports Car Market Pocket Price Guide” only provides a high and low value based on a Condition 2 car.

The Hagerty definition of these Condition levels are at the end of this article and are printed in every issue. I will report the Condition 2 numbers from the Hagerty Guide to be consistent with the Sports Car Market Guide.

I have selected four cars to review: the De Tomaso Mangusta, the Jensen Interceptor, the Lamborghini Miura and the Apollo GT Coupe.

Let’s get started.

De Tomaso Mangusta

De Tomaso Mangusta

De Tomaso Mangusta (photo by Jonathan Root)

Hagerty Guide: 1970 Coupe – $131,000 – 302 Coupe – $117,500

There are very few Mangustas that have sold recently at public auctions so actual recent sales results are hard to come by.

A 1969 De Tomaso Mangusta was for sale on eBay last November with a buy it now price of $119,900. It sold to a My Car Quest reader and I think we can assume that the actual price was not much different than the asking price.

Here is a Mangusta for sale in France for 159,500 Euros ($210,713)! This may be an unrealistically high price but it is significantly higher than the Hagerty Guide.

Another Mangusta was for sale after just completing a beautiful restoration last year for $139,995.95 in Southern California. I do not know the actual sale price but the seller certainly had a high expectation – much higher that the Hagerty Guide.

De Tomaso Mangusta

De Tomaso Mangusta

Jensen Interceptor

Jensen Interceptor

Jensen Interceptor Coupe

Hagerty Guide: 1976 SIII Coupe - $31,600 – Convertible – $57,300

A 1972 Jensen Interceptor Series III sold for $16,252 at the Bonhams Auction, Harrogate on November 14, 2012. Based on the description it sounded like a condition 3 or 4 car.

A 1975 Jensen Interceptor convertible sold for $58,980 at the Artcurial-Breist-Poulain Le Fur, Paris on November 11, 2012. Based on the description this was probably a condition 2 car.

A Jensen Interceptor convertible is for sale for $58,500 at a dealer in the US. This Jensen appears to be largely original.

The Jensen Interceptor convertible pictured below did not sell at auction in Monterey in August 2012 for a high bid of $72,000.

Jensen Interceptor

Jensen Interceptor Convertible

Lamborghini Miura P400 and P400S

Lamborghini Miura

Lamborghini Miura

Hagerty Guide: 1969 P400 – $450,000 – 1970 P400S – $580,000

A 1968 Lamborghini Miura P400 sold at the Bonhams Auction Francorchamps on May 25, 2013 for $743,935.

This was a special Miura based on the auction company description,

Early P400 completely restored at the Sant’Agata factory in 2008 under supervision of legendary Lamborghini test driver Valentino Balboni, with signed letter of confirmation.

A 1967 Lamborghini Miura P400 sold for $553,280 at the RM Auctions, Lake Como on May 25, 2013. Based on the description this is likely a condition 2 car.

A 1970 Lamborghini Miura P400S sold for $555,288 at Artcurial-Breist-Poulain Le Fur, Paris on February 8, 2013. Probably a condition 3 car.

A 1969 Lamborghini Miura P400S sold for $577,500 at Gooding & Co. in Scottsdale, Arizona on January 19, 2013. Original car with one repaint.

There have been more Miuras sold at auction in the last couple of years, they are not rare at the big auctions but adding more cars to this list does not really change the picture.

Lamborghini Miura

Lamborghini Miura

Apollo GT Coupe

Apollo GT Coupe

Apollo GT Coupe

Hagerty Guide: $63,600

Very few Apollo GTs come up for auction because there were so few made to begin with.

A 1964 Apollo GT Coupe did not sell at the Russo and Steele auction in Monterey in August 2012. This was an unusual Apollo because it had a Chevrolet engine instead of the Buick V8.

A 1964 Apollo 3500GT was for sale on the Hemmings web site and I believe it sold for $75,000.

A 1964 Apollo 5000 GT sold for $80,850 at the Russo and Steele auction in Monterey, CA on August 14, 2008. This was a special Apollo, in original condition, except for a respray, and was owned by the co-founder of Apollo, Milt Brown.

Hagerty has the Apollo GT listed under Intermeccanica in their price guide and I let Hagerty know (by Twitter) that I thought the Apollo GT should not be listed under Intermeccanica because Intermeccanica was a subcontractor to the Apollo company.

Intermeccanica made the chassis and body for Apollo who did the final assembly in Oakland, California and the cars were sold under the Apollo name, not Intermeccanica.

The Apollo GT should be listed under Apollo.

Apollo GT Coupe

Apollo GT Coupe

Summary

I am happy that I do not maintain a classic car price guide. This seems like one of the most difficult things to do in the classic car publishing world.

However, when a publisher decides to do so and charges money for their price guide then they have a responsibility to do the best job they can do.

Some models are very difficult to place a value on because there are so few in existence and thus so few come up for public sale. The individual car history and condition can make a huge difference in the price of a classic car and these characteristics cannot all be taken into account in a general price guide.

As with the “Sports Car Market Pocket Price Guide” the Hagerty Guide tends to be a little lower than reality, however they do a much better job than Sports Car Market in keeping up with the market dynamics.

I give the “Hagerty Price Guide” a “B-” rating on my scale of A to F for accuracy of reporting classic car values.

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The “Hagerty Price Guide” Condition Definitions

#4 cars are “drivers” with some flaws visible to the naked eye. Examples of flaws that could be present on #4 cars include pitting or scratches on the chrorne, a chip on the windshield, or a minor dent or chips in the paintwork. The paintwork might also have visible imperfections. You might find a split seam in a seat or a dash crack on the interior, the interior could be of a different type of material from original. No major parts are missing; however, components such as wheels might not be stock. A #4 car is often a deteriorated restoration. If too many flaws; are present it is no longer a #4 car. “Fair” is the one word that describes a #4 car.

#3 cars could posses some, but hot all of the issues of a #4 ear, but they will be balanced by other factors such as a fresh paint job or a new, correct interior. #3 cars drive and run well, but might have some incorrect parts. These cars are not used for daily transportation but are ready for a long tour without excuses, and the casual passerby will not find any visual flaws. “Good” is the one word description of a HAGERTY PRICE GUIDE #3.

#2 cars could win a local or regional show. They can be former #1 cars that have been driven or have aged. Seasoned observers will have to look closely for flaws, but will be able to find some not seen by the general public. The paint, chrome, glass and interior will all appear as excellent No excessive smoke will be seen on startup, no unusual noises will emanate from the engine compartment. The vehicle will drive as a new car of its era would. The one word description for #2 cars is “excellent.”

#1 vehicles in HAGERTY PRICE GUIDE are the best in the world. The visual image is of the best car, in the right colors, driving onto the lawn at the finest concours. Perfectly clean, the car has been groomed down to the tire treads. Painted and chromed surfaces are mirror-like. Dust and dirt are banned, and materials used are correct and superbly fitted. The one word description for #1 cars is “concours.”

Hagerty Cars That Matter Price Guide

Some of the auction results are from the Sports Car Market Platinum Auction Database.

Summary
Article Name
Is The “Hagerty Price Guide” For Classic Cars Accurate, Useful Or Worthless?
Author
Description
How accurate are classic car price guides? Read this and find out.

Comments

  1. Great review; however, the Vehicle Condition #4 on Hagerty’s Valuation site does not include the words, “If too many flaws; are present it is no longer a #4 car”.

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